Unlike Ms. Pratt and her colleagues, New Milford Republican and former mayoral candidate Jay Umbarger, who first offered his services to the McCain team in the summer of 2007, will not campaign out of state for the Republican senator and presidential candidate in the waning days of the campaign.
"I am not going to go to New Hampshire to campaign because New Milford and Connecticut are where I live. I'm not going to go somewhere else and inject my local viewpoint onto someone else," the Republican said.
He expressed his disillusion with a campaign that, he said, has seemed to proceed in fits and starts. "I was a bit taken back in the summer of 2007 that they really weren't that organized," he said, noting that the campaign seemed to hit its stride early this year but then, as he put it, the wheels came off.
"I am a Republican and proud of it. I'm not one for party dogma. I'm not a dogmatic person. There seems to be too much dogma in both parties. If you want to help a candidate out, it seems you have to help the entire party. I'm candidate-focused," he said, explaining why he will not be among those making telephone calls from a New Milford phone bank this weekend. "Can they win here? I don't know, but you have to try."
Mr. Umbarger's convictions on the national race, however, seem less buoyant than those of his wife, Lynn. Earlier this year, the couple made reservations in the nation's capitol for an inauguration they had hoped would celebrate a Republican victory in the presidential race. "I'm in the cancel mode right now," said Mr. Umbarger at mid-week, acknowledging that his wife had not yet called to cancel the hotel reservations near Washington, D.C. presently held in the couple's name.
Friday, October 31, 2008
From the hometown rag, The New Milford Times: